Few counties have the appeal that Sarasota enjoys, and in many respects, it has been the top destination for home buyers for years. If Forbes magazine’s opinion is anything to go by, Sarasota was one of the few trump cards Southwest Florida played when it stayed afloat while the recession was wreaking havoc on the housing market. And it’s easy to see why: golf, tennis, tourism, culture, year-round sunshine and beaches steeped in sugary-white, cool and powdery sand. But don’t take our word for it; take that of tens of critics, reviewers and national institutions on behalf of which we’ve put together a compendium of reasons to buy a home here:
1. Award-winning cities, parks and landscaping
Sarasota is one of the top ten small American cities to live in for 2013, according to Movoto, along with North Port. The cities rated highly in terms of cost of living, unemployment rate, median household income and home price. To top it off, North Port was granted a Playful City USA award for the fourth year running.
Sarasota County has received several national awards for its efforts in the design and development of several of its more than 100 parks, including Nathan Benderson Park.
To top it all off, Sarasota has been granted an All American County Award by the National Civic League for its progress in the improvement of its residents’ quality of life.
2. Globally acclaimed beaches and waterfronts
The Sarasota waterfront was dubbed a USA Today favorite. Some of the best beaches in the USA, and indeed, the world, line the county’s barrier islands.
Siesta Key Public Beach was dubbed best beach of 2011 by Dr. S. Leatherman. It then received Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Beach Award in 2013, along with Family vacation Critic’s Top Family Beach Award, and national geographic Traveller’s Top 10 Family Beach Award. Caspersen Beach was recognized as the perfect family beach by MSN Living, especially as it gives children the opportunity to find and collect sharks’ teeth.
3. Arts/Chalk Festival
The city of Sarasota was recognized as a leading American small city in terms of cultural endowment. The Sarasota Chalk Festival recently captured public interest thanks to CNN’s reviews of its 3D and ‘Going Vertical’ projects. Anyone who has an appreciation of the arts should check out the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.
In light of all the recreational opportunities available, both Venice and Sarasota were designated prime cities for retirees by none other than Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch. Movoto supported the designation and declared Sarasota City to be a top ten small American city on the basis of music, nightlife and eateries, despite having few young adults. Not only that, but ‘Where to Retire’, a national publication which carries quite a bit of weight with the 55+ community, designated Sarasota County to be one of only eight most walkable areas in the USA.
5. Women in the workforce/Doctors
According to NerdWallet, the Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port stretch, or just about the entire inhabited area of Sarasota County west of the I-75, is a top ten national hub for women in the workforce, based on median earnings, number of permanent workers, female to male income ratio and population growth. The area features at the top of ValuePenguin’s list of best cities for doctors to practice, with average earnings amounting to nearly $230,000 per year.
6. Runner Friendly/Tennis
The county is widely known as a runner-friendly community, and received official recognition for its running trails and pavements from the Road Runners Club of America in 2013.
The Resort at Longboat Key Club is Sarasota County’s crown jewel. It hosts the Sarasota Open for an audience of up to 2,500, and it provides nocturnal lighting, daily clinics and private lessons.
Most of all, Sarasota is known for its more than 100 golf courses with various levels of difficulty.
Sarasota County is head and shoulders above the rest in many respects, but nowhere is its superiority more palpable than in its range of bistros, restaurants, coffee shops, snack bars, parlors, tearooms and diners. From an iconic fish shack, such as Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar in Sarasota, where people don’t shy away from getting their hands dirty peeling shrimp, to the romantic Ophelia’s On the Bay restaurant in Siesta Key, which caters to some of the region’s most sophisticated palates, Sarasota County covers the entire spectrum of gourmand budgets and preferences. Most of these restaurants have been here since time immemorial, some true to their exotic influences, like the Columbia with its Cuban and Spanish cuisine, some specializing in Caribbean recipes, like Sharky’s On the Pier Restaurant & Tiki Bar.
Hopefully, you’ve found our list tempting, although this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you’d like to know more about what Sarasota County can do for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d love to show you around.